SIR - I was dismayed to read the letter from Stewart Knowles (T&A, November 16) in which he blamed special needs children for failing primary education, citing them as disrupting the class and needing extra help to keep up with the rest of the class' as his reason.

I would like to ask where his facts come from? Certainly some children would fall into that bracket, whether they have special needs or not, but this is not true for the majority.

Another point he was wrong on was thinking that schools got no extra funding. If the child has a statement the school gets extra money with which they can spend on whatever they want.

Parents and children should have a choice on whether they need special or mainstream school; they should not be forced into either. Would Stewart dream of blaming failing education on the colour, religion or sex of a child? I think not.

Mainstream education is failing our children with special needs, not the other way round.

Mrs Little, Wharncliffe Road, Shipley